Colossians 4:1 –
- In talking about “Masters” in this passage and context (Colossians 3:22-25), we are talking about slave owners (Ephesians 6:5).
- Having said that, the word translated “Masters” means: “(supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): - God, Lord, master, Sir” (Strong’s # 2962). In most other Scriptures the word is translated “Lord” (748 x’s) and is most often in reference to the Lord (i.e. Matthew 1:22, Matthew 4:10, etc.).
- They were to be just and equal rewarders towards their slaves (Ephesians 6:8-9).
- There were abuses of this in the first century among supposed brethren (James 5:1-6).
- The reminder of there being a Master in Heaven to whom even those in any kind of authority must answer to (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Matthew 25:31-46, John 5:28-29, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 14:11-12, and II Corinthians 5:10).
Colossians 4:2 –
- Continue in prayer (Luke 18:1, Romans 12:12, Philippians 4:6-8, Colossians 4:12, and I Thessalonians 5:17-18).
- Watch in prayer (Matthew 26:41 and I Peter 4:7).
- With thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 3:15-17, I Timothy 4:1-5, and Hebrews 13:15).
- For those in the first century, prayer was the vehicle used even when it came to spiritual gifts (Jude 1:20). *More on this in the next two verses.
Colossians 4:3 –
- Withal [also; at the same time] praying for us [Paul and Timotheus; Colossians 1:1] (Romans 15:30-32, I Thessalonians 5:25, and Hebrews 13:18).
- Pray for an open door [an entrance or opportunity for the Gospel] (I Corinthians 16:9, II Corinthians 2:12, and II Thessalonians 3:1) as God directly worked in this manner in the first century (Acts 8:26-29, Acts 10:19, Acts 13:1-4, and Acts 16:1-10).
- Paul was often in prison for preaching the Gospel (Acts 16:16-25, Acts 28:17, II Corinthians 11:23, Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 4:1, Philemon 1:1, Philemon 1:9, and II Timothy 2:8-10).
Colossians 4:4 –
- Pray that Paul might preach as He ought to (Acts 4:23-31 and Ephesians 6:18-20).
- Remember, there is a HUGE difference in how God worked directly through the Apostles, etc. (Matthew 10:16-20, Acts 2:4, I Corinthians 2:9-13, Galatians 1:10-12, and Philippians 1:18-19) and the fact that He does NOT today work in such a way at all through those whom teach based on what they’ve been taught (II Timothy 2:2).
- Contextually, “it” is the mystery of Christ (Colossians 4:3; cf. Romans 16:25-26).
- Preaching had/has to be not only the message of truth, but the proper delivery of it as well (II Corinthians 2:12-17 and II Corinthians 4:1-7).
Colossians 4:5 –
- In the next two passages we will be discussing our behavior and speech towards those outside of the body. In a seemingly oft misunderstood principle, we should remember that when we are around saints, our brethren, we are around citizens of the kingdom of our Lord (Ephesians 2:19, Colossians 1:13, and Hebrews 12:22-29; cf. John 18:36). As such, we walk by the same system of faith, thinking, law, etc. (Philippians 2:2, Philippians 3:16, and Philippians 4:1-3). When we are among those outside of the kingdom, we are among those who walk according to a different rule of law that we have chosen to leave behind (Ephesians 2:2-3). With that in mind, let’s consider the statements here forward…
- The best explanation I know to offer on Colossians 4:5-6 is found by reading I Peter 2:5-4:19.
- Walk (Ephesians 2:10, Colossians 1:10, I Thessalonians 2:10-12, and I John 2:1-6).
- In wisdom (Proverbs 2:1-10, Proverbs 4:5-7, Romans 16:19, Ephesians 5:15-17, and James 3:13).
- Them “without” are people outside of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 5:9-13).
- Be wise around people of the world. Remember that you are prey among predators. Don’t be so arrogant (Proverbs 16:18 and I Corinthians 10:12) to think you are a light among darkness (Matthew 5:14-16) to the point you forget the power of darkness to convert you back (I Corinthians 15:33).
- Think about this wisdom principle in light of other passages (Proverbs 4:14-15, Matthew 10:16-17, John 15:18-21, John 16:33, Romans 12:1-3, Romans 12:17-21, and James 4:4).
- Redeem [buy up] the time (Psalms 90:12 and Matthew 25:1-13).
- Time is valuable (Ecclesiastes 8:5, Ecclesiastes 9:10, John 9:4, and James 4:13-16).
- Time, in this world, is short (II Samuel 14:14, Job 8:9, Psalms 90:10, Psalms 102:11, Psalms 103:15-16, Psalms 144:4, and I Peter 1:24).
Colossians 4:6 –
- Again, the context is regarding “toward them that are without” (Colossians 4:5).
- Now we are talking not only about how we act, but to be wise in how we speak among those outside of Christ. Think of all the reasons for such (Psalms 39:1, Psalms 56:5, Proverbs 13:3, Proverbs 15:2, Proverbs 15:28, Proverbs 16:23, Proverbs 21:23, Proverbs 29:11, and Mark 12:12-17).
- Your speech ALWAY (again, in the context of those outside of Christ) with grace [acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy)] (Philippians 2:14-16).
- Seasoned with salt (Matthew 5:13 and Mark 9:50). Think about how the righteous can/could preserve (Genesis 18:22-19:29, Jeremiah 5:1, and Ezekiel 22:24-31).
- Considering speech seasoned with salt (Ephesians 4:29), in contrast, consider how some speech does not preserve or season, but rather destroys both the speaker (Matthew 12:34-37 and Matthew 15:11) and hearer (Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 16:28, and Proverbs 18:8).
- That ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (I Peter 3:15-16). *That is if you should answer someone, for not all men are to be answered (Matthew 7:6, II Timothy 2:23, and Titus 3:9-11).
- Tychicus (Acts 20:1-7, II Timothy 4:1-12, and Titus 3:12-15).
- Tychicus would report to the brethren in Colosse concerning Paul’s well-being (Ephesians 6:21-23).
- Consider the concern for the state of brethren (I Corinthians 16:17-18, II Corinthians 7:6-7, Philippians 2:19, I Thessalonians 2:17-20, II John 1:1-4, and III John 1:3-4, cf. Proverbs 25:13).
- Paul was conflicted not being able to see them himself (Colossians 2:1; cf. Acts 20:17-38).
- Considered what it means to be called a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant (Mark 3:32-35, Philippians 2:25-30, Colossians 1:7, Philemon 1:1-2, I Timothy 6:12, and II Timothy 2:1-4).
Colossians 4:8 –
- Paul sent him as he had others to other places (I Corinthians 4:17, II Corinthians 12:18, etc.).
- Tychicus was sent not only to report about Paul, but to know their estate [concerning them] (Acts 15:36, Philippians 1:27, and I Thessalonians 3:1-8 cf. II Corinthians 11:28).
- Tychicus was to comfort them (II Corinthians 1:1-7, II Corinthians 7:5-7, I Thessalonians 4:18, and I Thessalonians 5:11-14).
Colossians 4:9 –
- Tychicus was to be accompanied by Onesimus who was a slave that had run from his duties to Philemon and had obeyed the Gospel in the process (Philemon 1:8-19).
- Onesimus was NOW a faithful and beloved brother in Christ (cf. I Peter 5:12).
- He erred in fleeing slavery (Colossians 3:22-25).
- Now being called “faithful” necessarily infers he repented of this error (James 5:19-20; cf. Psalms 32:1).
- Onesimus being one of them ties Philemon to them too.
- Again, we can see that these two would report about what Paul was engaged in at that present time. Paul wanted his manner of life to be known (II Timothy 3:10) so that he could serve as a tried example (I Corinthians 4:16 and I Corinthians 11:1).
- Think about how Paul valued a slave as a faithful coworker (I Corinthians 12:14-27 and Galatians 3:26-29; cf. Ecclesiastes 9:13-18).
- The erring would not view Onesimus as Paul did (James 2:1-13).
Colossians 4:10 –
- Aristarchus (Acts 19:21-20:4, Acts 27:1-2, and Philemon 1:23-24).
- When someone hears of a prisoner, they think badly of a person. Here he is spoken of faithfully. Maybe, even likely from what we know, he is imprisoned for the faith (Luke 21:12, Acts 12:1-4, and Revelation 2:10). However, even if not, what does conversion make him (I Corinthians 6:9-11 and Revelation 1:1-5)?
- Marcus [John; Mark], sister's son to Barnabas (Acts 12:12, Acts 12:25-13:13, and II Timothy 4:11).
- They had received “commandments” to receive Marcus. The instruction to receive a fellow Christian was and should be common among faithful brethren (Acts 9:26-31, Acts 18:24-28, Romans 16:1-4, II Corinthians 8:16-23, Philippians 2:25-30, and Philemon 1:10-12).
- Why was it important to know whom to receive (Matthew 10:40-42 and II John 1:9-11)?
- The reason there may have been doubts (Acts 15:36-41; cf. Proverbs 25:19).
- Some refused faithful saints (III John 1:5-12).
Colossians 4:11 –
- And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision (Romans 3:1).
- The division between Jews and Gentiles, whom were both supposedly saints, was sharp throughout the first century (Galatians 2:11-21).
- The division between Jews and Gentiles that rightly existed under the Old Law (Deuteronomy 7:1-11 and Ezra 9:1-10:44), was done away in Christ (Acts 10:44-11:18 and Ephesians 2:11-17).
- These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God is not to be taken as a list that excludes other faithful co-workers of Paul (Philippians 2:19-24, II Timothy 4:19-21, Titus 3:11-15, etc.).
- Which had been a comfort to Paul (I Thessalonians 3:7 and I Thessalonians 5:11-14).
Colossians 4:12 –
- Epaphras was a minister in the congregation in Colosse and a fellow prisoner with Paul (Colossians 1:7 and Philemon 1:23).
- He labored in prayer for the brethren that they may stand perfect and complete in the will of God (Colossians 1:9 and I Thessalonians 5:23).
- In this verse we must understand that invocation of miraculous spiritual gifts is the underlying subject matter (cf. Ephesians 1:13-17).
- God would answer this prayer by having the Spirit give gifts of faith, knowledge, wisdom, trying of spirits, etc. (I Corinthians 12:3-11).
- Those gifts have ceased (I Corinthians 13:8-13).
- We know have all we need (II Peter 1:3-4) as the word of God complete furnishes such for us (II Timothy 3:15-17).
Colossians 4:13 –
- Paul, speaking about Epaphras, testified of the zealous care that Epaphras had for the brethren in Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis. It is great for brethren to feel such a way about each other (II Corinthians 2:3-4, II Corinthians 2:13, II Corinthians 7:6-7, and I Thessalonians 3:1-7).
- It also shows us that Epaphras was working as an evangelist amongst more than just the brethren in Colosse. That too is good for an evangelist ought to work, in person or by communication, in as many places as he is capable (I Corinthians 4:17, II Corinthians 1:1, Philippians 1:1, Philippians 2:19-25, Colossians 1:1, I Thessalonians 1:1, II Thessalonians 1:1, I Thessalonians 3:1-2, and Titus 1:5).
- Be mindful of the fact that in person teaching is much more effective than in writing (Acts 15:36, I Corinthians 11:18-34, II Corinthians 12:20, II John 1:12, III John 1:13-14).
Colossians 4:14 –
- Luke (II Timothy 4:11) a.k.a. Lucas (Philemon 1:24). Consider how a physician in his company would help Paul (Galatians 4:13; cf. II Corinthians 12:1-10).
- Though a physician could have a “bad rap” (Luke 8:40-48), Luke was of the faith.
- Medicines (Genesis 50:1-2, Isaiah 1:6, Jeremiah 8:22, Jeremiah 30:13, and Ezekiel 47:12).
- Demas (II Timothy 4:10).
- Demas is an example of one who can fall away (cf. Luke 8:13, Acts 8:12-24, I Corinthians 10:12, Galatians 1:6-9, Galatians 3:1, Galatians 5:4, Galatians 5:7-9, I Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26-31, II Peter 2:20-22, and, Revelation 22:18-19).
- They sent greetings (Romans 16:21-22, I Corinthians 16:20, and Philippians 4:21).
Colossians 4:15 –
- Paul wanted to extend salutations to the nearby brethren (Romans 16:6-22, II Corinthians 13:13, Philippians 4:21, Titus 3:15, Hebrews 13:24, and III John 1:14).
- In addition to meeting in public places (Acts 2:46 and I Corinthians 11:16-34),congregations also assembled in homes (Romans 16:3-5, I Corinthians 16:19, and Philemon 1:2).
Colossians 4:16 –
- The sharing of this epistle (Galatians 1:1-2, I Thessalonians 5:27, and Revelation 1:4).
- Communication between multiple, faithful congregations (Acts 15:1-35).
Colossians 4:17 –
- Archippus (Philemon 1:2).
- The ministry [service that is not specified here] received of the Lord to fulfill. This could be many different things (Acts 1:14-25, Acts 6:1-4, Acts 11:27-29 [relief], Acts 12:25, Acts 20:22-24, I Corinthians 16:15, II Corinthians 8:4; 9:1, II Timothy 4:1-5, and Titus 1:1-14).
Colossians 4:18 –
- By Paul’s hand (I Corinthians 16:21, II Thessalonians 3:17, and Philemon 1:19).
- Remember his bonds (Philippians 1:7, II Timothy 1:8, Hebrews 10:34, and Hebrews 13:3).
- The extension of grace at the close of this epistle (Romans 16:24, I Corinthians 16:23, II Corinthians 13:14, Galatians 6:18, Ephesians 6:24, Colossians 4:18, I Thessalonians 5:28, II Thessalonians 3:18, etc.).